In 1951 Rickard’s political career began with his election as City Attorney and then in, at age 39, he ran a successful campaign for Mayor and served two terms ending in 1957. It is under his leadership that the city expanded its borders by extending sewer service to neighboring property owners, attracted light industry to the area; master planned the waterfront, and constructed a new municipal golf course.
Throughout his life he served on numerous charitable and community boards and was named Man of the Year by the Greater Santa Barbara Advertising Club for his many civic and community contributions. He was the first President of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.
In 1968 he was appointed by California Governor Ronald Reagan to the Santa Barbara County Superior Court bench, filling a new post created by the legislature the previous year. Judge Rickard, who held the position until 1982 when he retired, was well respected for his firm and fair decisions. Judge Rickard passed away on May 18, 2000.
One of the most significant contributions he made was as the primary architect of legislation that established a marine sanctuary to protect the Santa Barbara coastline from offshore oil development. The legislation included a unique approach to annex the city’s airport property, which allowed for continued growth and improvement of the Santa Barbara Airport.
“We are proud to honor the accomplishments of John “Jack” T. Rickard — his vision of our city and our airport — so vital to the Santa Barbara economy for both visitors and residents alike.” said Karen Ramsdell, Airport Director.
The public is invited to attend. Validated parking will be provided in the Short Term Parking Lot.